The slogan for this year’s Metalcon International is “Breaking convention, adding dimension.” One way the metal-building show is breaking from the past is taking the 18th annual event to Baltimore, a new host city for it.

But there are other changes for this show, which has attracted thousands of contractors and others involved in metal building for almost two decades.

The Oct. 1-3 show at Baltimore’s main convention center will include the event’s first-ever “New Product Harbor,” a special section of products released since Metalcon’s 2007 show in Las Vegas. Also new for 2008 is a Gutter Pavilion, featuring gutter product makers, and a number of new business-oriented seminars.

Organizers were sure to not change the most popular parts of Metalcon, such as the large trade show with thousands of metal roofing and construction companies exhibiting their products. Metalcon will also include dozens of educational sessions covering all facets of the industry.

Here are descriptions of some of those seminars and sessions that may be of interest to sheet metal contractors or those involved in metal roofing.

Sessions set

Historic waterfront city selected to host Metalcon

Baltimore, Metalcon’s 2008 show location, is a city of many nicknames: Charm City, the City of Firsts, Crab Cake Capital of the World, Monument City and the Greatest City in America among them.

Convention attendees will have a chance to find out the story behind many of those slogans when Metalcon heads to the city’s waterfront convention center Oct. 1-3.

Baltimore has a storied history dating to its founding as a shipping center in 1729. It grew quickly in the 18th century as a sugar-processing center, and has remained a busy seaport. Its Inner Harbor neighborhood, once full of abandoned warehouses, is today a vibrant entertainment district.

In addition, the city offers famous seafood and plenty of other attractions for Metalcon attendees to visit during their nonworking hours. Here are a few.

The Baltimore Aquarium attracts more than a million visitors annually. Since 1981, it has showcased 16,000 different species of aquatic life, including sea turtles, sharks, dolphins and many kinds of lizards. The aquarium includes a life-size replica of a humpback whale.

Located between the third and fifth piers along the Inner Harbor waterfront, the Baltimore Maritime Museum encompasses four registered historic landmarks: The Chesapeake, a U.S. Lighthouse Service vessel built in 1930; the Coast Guard ship Taney, which was in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, Dec. 7, 1941; the World War II-era submarine USS Torsk; and a “screw-pile” lighthouse from 1855. Numerous other artifacts are also on display.

In downtown Baltimore, you’re not more than a few minutes away from historic Camden Yards, home of the Orioles. The nearby Sports Legends Museum - a former train station - includes 22,000 square feet of exhibits. It also houses a separate museum dedicated to Baltimore native Babe Ruth.

Finally, don’t forget to grab a crab cake or other seafood specialty at one of the area’s many restaurants. Baltimore is known for world-class seafood, including lobster and stuffed shrimp.